Learning as I go…

It’s been a few days since I posted because I was having major issues with trying to take high rez snaps in Firestorm…for almost a week.  I have no idea what the issue was and I tried the several suggestions that came via the SLU forums…to no avail.  So after the last major freeze then crash, while trying to enable shadows, I switched over to Niran’s Viewer.  I’d heard it was excellent for SL photography.  Still not sure about that…as it is a HUGE learning curve just trying to acquaint myself with the viewer set-up. (AND the sky preset windlight choices are far fewer in Niran’s).  For now I am bouncing between the two hoping to either resolve the love-hate relationship my video card is having with FS or to fully commit to Niran’s.

Anyway, on Monday I had shots (taken in Niran’s) all ready to post for a mash-up dress I’d composed out of two hunt items…but I couldn’t make up my mind which shots to edit/use and finally decided 99% of them were pure crap shots.  Soooo I decided to just start with editing the head shot I took to show the Glam Affair skin (from the WomenStuff Hunt) and the new group gift ChiChickie Iris hair.

This is a the first crop of the raw capture:
test niran's_006PM4

One thing led to another and this post morphed into showing the process and progress of how I am learning to edit my SL photography.  Let me qualify now…I KNOW I am NOT the best photographer…I KNOW I have a LOT to learn…and I KNOW that I make a lot of mistakes.  BUT, through all the mistakes, frustration, lack of editing software skills and pretty much self-teaching…I am enjoying discovering how I can approach SL photography in my own unique way.

First draft of editing…cropped it a bit tighter, rebuilt the crappy nose and tried to maintain the original texture of the skin:
test niran's_006PM3

I wasn’t quite satisfied with the end result…I’d messed up the lovely texture of the skin while trying to fix a few blemishes…which left it splotchy looking. I struggled with going further in editing the face.  After all, there is a point at which the skin no longer looks like the one you will buy.  If I were a fashion photographer and were highlighting the skin for you to run out and grab…I’d leave it as unedited as possible.  BUT, I am NOT a fashion blogger/photographer…I am just someone in SL who enjoys fashion, shopping, photography, art and exploring new places. So I have more creative leeway when it comes to how much I can edit my pics.

My “finished” pic:
Learning as I go...
It took me several hours to edit this pic (on and off…a girl has to sleep eventually)…and I’m sure that someone with mad PS skills could have done it in only minutes.  I did all the editing for this photo in Picmonkey…where I hunt and peck for things…make a LOT of mistakes and learn a great deal from those mistakes.  I break a lot of rules (mostly because I don’t know that I have until I do)…I don’t own PS (That’s a LOT of cash to lay out!), and my skills with Gimp are extremely limited (I can open it…does that count for anything?). I ask as many questions as I can (without trying to be a pest), take classes at Builders Brewery and study other SL photographers work.

In the end…EVERYTHING is open to individual interpretation, we all learn on our own curve and there is usually always more than one way to approach anything in life…including photography and editing.  I’ll continue to make mistakes to learn from and I welcome any help/constructive advice someone takes the time to give me.

Here are several resources that I tap into to try to continue to add new skills, learn and grow:

  • Builder’s Brewery often has excellent classes on photography from beginner to intermediate…check the schedule (online or inworld) for times and dates.
  • Youtube (just enter the search term for the tutorial you are interested in…e.g. “Photo Shop Tutorials”)
  • Strawberry Singh has fantastic tutorials on SL photography. I don’t know her personally, but I am thankful for her kind spirit in sharing what she does.  Study her work…she is fantastic!
  • Cajsa Lilliehook, from It’s Only Fashion, is very knowledgeable in fashion,  photography, blogging and marketing.  She generously shares that knowledge with her readers on the Tutorials & PSAs tab.
  • I belong to over 90 Flickr photography and fashion groups; where I can study fabulous SL photography and post my work for feedback.  If you go to my page, you will find a list of the groups I belong to.  Click on the group link to check it out and to join the group.  While you’re on my page…check out the people who are on my contact list…I am constantly adding people to that list…people who’s amazing work I have noticed and want to follow.  I add them as a contact so I can be alerted when they post new work.
  • In-world I have truly wonderful artist friends who patiently answer my questions.  I also attend in-world art exhibits; to study the work and to support the hardworking artists.
  • Finally, I recently became actively involved, in the SL art community, by organizing/hosting the upcoming Autumn Art Walk that will be running from November 17-Dec 15 at The Beguiled Art Gallery & Studio.

Art and Life are fleeting…stay captivated!  <3<3

Eyes:  Curio Tragic Eyes, Neptune (Large/Shine) (Prim eyes) Sadly not available at this time…HURRY back PLEASE Gala! <3<3

Eyeliner:     LpD  Prim Eyeliner (black)

Prim Eyelashes:  *REDGRAVE* Eyelashes- 11-Showgirl

Mesh Eyelashes:  ::BB:: (Beetlebones) Mesh Lashes V.01 (SLEB Black)

Beauty Marks:  [:T:] Beauty Marks tattoo layers (layer option 2) [:Tuli:]

Teeth: KIKI (Came with a skin I bought from them)

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4 thoughts on “Learning as I go…

  1. Very good article and loved reading through your blog. Thanks for the mention of Builders Brewery as well, we feel honored to have made it to your blog. I (Sensuous Maximus), will be back often to read up on the latest. ❤

    1. Oh my…it is I who am honored! Thank you…for creating the Brewery so people like myself have somewhere to go when we want to learn…for bringing in amazing people to teach the classes and for all that you do for our community <3<3

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